Rye Festival Of Music And The Arts

This year Rye Festival starts with a bang!

By Pat Field

The first music on offer is the Ukulele Band of Great Britain. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes’, depraved musicology, from Charlie Parker, to the Sex Pistols through J.S. Bach.

festAnd the Festival ends with world renowned composer Richard Rodney Bennett introducing a John Schlesinger film for which he wrote the score, and afterwards performing in cabaret.


In between those two extremes, arguably one of the best programmes ever mounted.

Simon Callow will be performing favourite pieces from Jeeves and Wooster. Former Ambassador. Sir John Ure will go “In Search of Nomads”. Simon Sebag Montefiore will describe his mission to undercover the secret world of Stalin. William Hague will talk about his book on Pitt the Younger, who was described as “a schoolboy when he took office at 24”. Colm Toibin, David Lodge and Miranda Seymour on Henry James.

Peter and Leni Gillman will illustrate the meeting between A. C. Benson and George Mallory the mountaineer, and Nick Clarke, Alistair Cooke’s biographer, and BBC radio presenter will discuss events of recent history. This is just a flavour of the literary events this year. The brochure will bring to light many more.

SCHLESINGER SCREENPLAY WRITER This year Rye will be screening three films by John Schlesinger. We are delighted that Alan Bennett – who wrote the screenplays for two of them – is able to come here and introduce them Classical music will include The Sacconi String Quartet playing Haydn, Schubert and Mozart. There will be two world premieres of works by eminent British composers. The lovely young Swedish soprano Susanna Andersson will sing. The Covent Garden Orchestra will play Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with Max Kirby. There will be Baroque music by the Musicke Companye, piano trios from the Sans Souci and more. FOLK BAND OF THE YEAR “Folk Band of the Year” award winning Danu from Ireland will come hot foot from Europe and the U.S, as will Martin Simpson, “phenomenal acoustic guitarist”. We are having The Otis Grand Blues Band and Trevor Watts and his Celebration Band. There will be Blues and Jazz at the Ypres Inn, Miles Jupp, from the Edinburgh fringe will give us Stand-Up comedy and there will be Blues at the William the Conqueror at Rye Harbour. Poetry, Art, Puppets, Wine, “Horror Walks”, et al, to be seen and heard here, from September 4th to the 19th. Tel. 01797 224442. HYPERLINK “http://www.ryefestival.co.uk” www.ryefestival.co.uk.

From Rye’s Own August 2004 All articles, photographs and drawings on this web site are World Copyright Protected. No reproduction for publication without prior arrangement